- Have custody of the child; or
- Manage the child's property (called "estate"); or
If Child Protective Services (CPS) is involved in your case, you probably have to go to the juvenile court to find out what you can do. Find out more about guardianships in juvenile court.
Types of probate guardianship
There are 2 types of probate guardianship:
Guardianship of the person
In a guardianship of the person, the guardian has the same responsibilities to care for the child as a parent would. That means the guardian has full legal and physical custody of the child and can make all the decisions about the physical care of the child that a parent would make. A guardian can be anyone: relatives, friends of the family, or other people suitable to raise the child can ask to be legal guardians.
For more information go to:California State Self-Help Guardianship Page
Guardianship of the estate
A guardianship of the estate is set up to manage a child's income, money, or other property until the child turns 18. A child may need a guardian of the estate if he or she inherits money or assets. In most cases, the court appoints the surviving parent to be the guardian of the child's estate.
In some cases the same person can be the guardian of the person and of the estate. In other cases, the court will appoint 2 different people.
For more information go to: California State Self-Help Guardianship Page
To access the forms used to file a guardianship case go to: California State Guardianship Forms